The Ocean

1994ish

I’ve always loved the ocean. One summer, I must have been 16, we had a family trip to the beach. Somehow I was allowed to drive about an hour to pick up my husband (then boyfriend) where his dad had dropped him off.

I don’t remember what part of New Jersey that drive was. I do remember driving with the windows down on a 2 lane highway, with trees on both sides. You could tell the ocean was close. I remember picking him up and driving back so happy.

There was a little shop with a beautiful silver ring, a purple stone surrounded by wire. He bought me that ring. I mean, I asked for it, but he got it for me. We had a thing about purple.

I’ve never understood color. The definition, sure. But the reality of it? No. Once I told him that I just wanted a big ball of purple. Not a purple ball, but a ball of purple. He gave me a glass box, with a purple lid, and told me the purple had just escaped. He bought me that ring with the purple stone at the beach.

2020

School was starting. It was remote for us, but it was starting. Suddenly we were invited to the beach with Heather’s family.

I love the beach. My husband does not. On family vacations, he always looked forward to the rainy days where we would stay in the beach house.

Also, we had canceled our beach trip with my family that year because of the pandemic. He was very passionate about not going anywhere during the pandemic.

So, it was weird how he wanted to go to the beach. But, I love the beach. So, I tried to brainstorm ways we could do it.

“I could just take the kids,” he suggested.

We couldn’t seem to make it work though, and suddenly we weren’t really invited anymore.

Later I’d see the texts and understand it was a ruse. Somehow I was supposed to say “Well, the kids and I can’t go, but you should!” Somehow he was supposed to go by himself with Heather. But when he couldn’t make it happen, Heather included her family on the trip.

She still wanted him to come though. Months later he shared her texts.

He didn’t want Heather and her husband though. He wanted just her.

So, he didn’t go to the beach to have the ocean and Heather. He didn’t plan their wedding ceremony.

I guess I should be thankful for that.

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